The management behind the new OC Pateadores NPSL endeavor has made yet another abrupt change to the club. It appears that this club doesn’t have a secured home field for the season.
This is another abrupt change in a series of management decisions (indecisions?) going back to when the club was called the Santa Ana Winds. The problem with that endeavor was that the club was never centralized in Santa Ana. Back then they had their headquarters listed in Buena Park. That and they didn’t make effective inroads with the Santa Ana community. It was as if they thought Santa Ana residents were just going to buy into that team simply because of the name association with the city. Yes soccer is the number 1 sport in Santa Ana but you have to do your work to get that Santa Ana buck.
Even the Los Angeles Galaxy recognizes Santa Ana’s market potential and they’ve placed billboards and ads on major bus routes in Santa Ana.
Then they (the Santa Ana Winds) became the Fullerton Rangers, in an attempt to fuse with the Fullerton Rangers Youth Academy, and ended up playing their games in Santa Ana. This had obviously nothing to do with Fullerton.
Then they became the “OC Spartans,” for about a month at the most, and listed their headquarters in Fullerton. But they were slated to play their home games at Santa Ana Stadium.
Now they’ve re-branded as the OC Pateadores, using the Pateadores Youth Academy’s name, and listed their games at Santa Ana Stadium. But it looks like Santa Ana won’t be their home as the most recent development suggests.
Last year Santa Ana Stadium was good enough to field a U.S. Open Cup game for the formerly-known Fullerton Rangers. Now the management is in the process apparently of finding another venue to make their home field. They opened the season, as the Pateadores, at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa.
True, Santa Ana Stadium has artificial turf, but so does CenturyLink Field, the Portland Timbers field, and Club Tijuana’s field. The Houston Dynamo has to share their field with an American football team.
If only the political will existed in Santa Ana to make the stadium soccer-specific, with natural grass like it used to have. This was a stadium that Chivas USA planned to play their home games in, albeit temporarily.
Will the management finally find success in establishing a brand and a permanent home? What does the management’s track record suggest?